Although there are a lot of factors that determine Medicaid eligibility, the applicant's income level is key to establishing need and eligibility.
Federal and State Requirements
The federal government has guidelines for establishing eligibility for programs aiding low income families. Each state varies on its rules and requirements for meeting the income cut off for Medicaid eligibility. Applicants need to check with their local public assistance office for requirements mandated by their state.
Federal Poverty Level Chart
The Federal Poverty Level Chart, or the FPL chart, is issued, each January, by the federal government. It establishes the guidelines for defining the poverty level in the United States. The chart is a general guideline for establishing the typical income cut off for Medicaid eligibility. For a family of four, a net yearly income of $22,050 is considered to be 100% of poverty, and an income of $29,327 has been established to be 133% of the poverty level. Depending on the size of the household, the base amount will be increased or decreased.
General Income Classifications
By referring to the FPL chart, applicants may be classified as low income or medically needy. Each state has the right to alter the limits slightly for their state. Both classifications must meet the typical income cut off for Medicaid eligibility.
Low Income Classification
The federal government classifies low income to be anyone at 100% or below the poverty level.
According to criteria set forth by the federal government, 133% of the poverty level classifies a person or family to be medically needy. The applicant's assets are also taken into consideration when establishing an applicant as medically needy..